Saturday, January 15, 2011

Twitter Hoax Proclaims Death of Statesman

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is the latest to be 'killed off' by a fast spreading rumor inaccurately told and re-tweeted by uninformed tweeters.

The truth? Nelson Mandela is alive and fit as is reported by

Stopping the viral nature of tweeting such items is a bit like spitting into the wind. It blows in your face and is difficult to combat.

It does beg the question about the caliber of retweets. Do people think before retweeting? Even if a best friend tweets something, does it automatically make it true?

Do we as bloggers and tweeters bear any responsibility for accuracy in our tweets?

The Internet has opened the door for all of us to be journalists. This is a good thing. News can be instant and fresh. Our information updated within seconds of an event offers real time knowledge to the world.

newspaper clippings shelftop (detail)

But good journalists we've admired and followed over the years such as Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Woodward and Bernstein demonstrated the difference in reporting a balanced view.

... Walter Cronkite

The skewed view often relayed in the news of today's networks vying for top spot on the TV viewing polls reeks of slanted propaganda--depending which side of the political world you prefer.

So, do we as tweeters wish to follow in the inflammatory and inaccurate portrayal or do we want to hold ourselves to a higher standard?


When I tweet, I seek at least two corroborating sources of repute, not some nameless RT source.

I love to tweet as much as little as the next person, but I vow to keep integrity in my tweets.

Now, I follow people whose views I disagree with. But I want to hear the opposite perspective from the horse's mouth, as it were. It doesn't threaten me to listen to someone with different views.

It offers balance.

Tweet this if you want your tweets to have integrity and honesty. Follow me if you want balance in reporting. I listen to both sides of the issue. I'll report both.

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